Merry Christmas Eve!

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

Photo Courtesy of Dariela Cruz http://www.mamitalks.com

Today is the ninth and final day of novenas in Colombia, and it is Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, when Colombians have their main Christmas celebration. Families gather today to have dinner, usually late at night, and many people also go to Midnight Mass. Continue reading

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Colombian Christmas Traditions Day 8

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

Sofia Vergara in "Undeck the Halls"

Today, the eighth day of novenas, is going to be a really short post. It’s almost Christmas, and things are getting busy! What I wanted to share with you today, Dear Reader, is actually a Modern Family episode. One of the main characters on the show is a Colombian woman played by Sofia Vergara, who is a famous Colombian actress. In the Christmas episode called Undeck the Halls from the first season, she talks a lot about different Colombian Christmas traditions and is trying to bring the traditions to her American family. It’s a good episode and talks about many of the traditions I have in my novenas posts. Here is a link to the episode:

Modern Family Colombian Christmas Traditions

Hope you enjoy it!

Colombian Christmas Traditions Day 7

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

In Colombia, Christmas decorations, especially lights, are quite popular. From the end of November on, stores become filled with garlands, strands of lights, and ornaments for people to decorate their homes with. Colombians also buy artificial Christmas trees, as real pine trees are hard to come by.

December 7, La Noche de Las Velitas, is the official day to put up Christmas lights and decorations. Medellin and Bogotá especially go crazy with Christmas lights. This year Medellin had 16 million lights around the city, and Bogotá had 7 million. Both of the cities give tours so you can see all of the lights. Some people also put up lights in and around their homes, and many apartment buildings also decorate the outside.

Almost all Colombian homes will have a Christmas tree and a nativity scene, or pesebre. The nativity scene is especially important because during the novenas friends and families gather around it to sing villancicos and say prayers. However, Christmas trees have not always been a typical tradition in Colombian; this custom came over from the States. Also, people used to have live Christmas trees, but this is now illegal so as not to harm the environment.

Here is a video of the lights in Medellin:

Colombian Christmas Traditions Day 6

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

Back for another day of Colombian Christmas Traditions! Today, the sixth day of novenas, I will be talking about aguinaldos. The literal English translation of aguinaldos differs because it can mean different things in different countries, but in this case it refers to games played during novenasContinue reading

Colombian Christmas Traditions Day 5

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

Spoiler alert: If you still believe in Santa Claus then you probably shouldn’t read any more.

In Colombia, Santa Claus, (Papa Noel) is not the bearer of gifts. Instead, it is Baby Jesus, or, El Niño Jesus/El Niño Dios who brings toys to the children at midnight on Christmas Eve, usually leaving gifts at the foot of the beds of the children instead of under the tree. Also, children write letters to Baby Jesus instead of Santa Claus and is placed in the nativity set for Baby Jesus to read.

The Papa Noel figure still exists and he can be seen in malls throughout Colombia, just like in the States, for children to have their picture taken with. Because Colombia is predominantly Catholic country, there is a more religious aspect to Christmas in Colombia than in the States, although Papa Noel has become more prevalent in recent years. Now it is more of a mix of El Niño Jesus and Papa Noel who brings the presents.

Whoever brings your presents on Christmas, have a wonderful holiday! And check back tomorrow for more on Colombian Christmas traditions!